Something's up with my air layer

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Wow!

You are right things don’t look good. The tree appears to be dying from the bottom up.

Could you have cut extra deep into the trunk?

Sadly
DSD sends
 

Lorax7

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That layer looks to be wrapped really loosely, but it's hard to tell for sure from a photo. Is it, in fact, loosely wrapped? Also, do you occasionally water the air layer to maintain a moist environment inside the plastic?
 

Nor Cal AC

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That layer looks to be wrapped really loosely, but it's hard to tell for sure from a photo. Is it, in fact, loosely wrapped? Also, do you occasionally water the air layer to maintain a moist environment inside the plastic?
It is a little loose. It gets water from a passing lawn sprinkler.
 

0soyoung

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Wow!

You are right things don’t look good. The tree appears to be dying from the bottom up.

Could you have cut extra deep into the trunk?

Sadly
DSD sends
I look at the pic and I see green nearest to the trunk on all 3 apical branches and the uppermost branch to be solidly green. What I see is NOT consistent with dying from the bottom up, or drying from the bottom up.

In brief, I don't see anything that is clearly related to the air layer.


Check this out. I opened it up and this is what I found. View attachment 374699
That looks like bridging caused by residual cambium cells (xylem initials). You should scrape it all away and leave it open to the air for a day or two before bundling it up again.
 

Nor Cal AC

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I look at the pic and I see green nearest to the trunk on all 3 apical branches and the uppermost branch to be solidly green. What I see is NOT consistent with dying from the bottom up, or drying from the bottom up.

In brief, I don't see anything that is clearly related to the air layer.



That looks like bridging caused by residual cambium cells (xylem initials). You should scrape it all away and leave it open to the air for a day or two before bundling it up again.
Every day for the past week the leaves have been turning. Starting from the tips and working it's way to the trunk. By the end of the weekend, I'm sure the whole branch will be turned.
 
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Wouldn’t damaged Xylem give the same indications… insufficient water coming up the tree being rationed to the branchlets closest to the tree?

IMHO @Osoyoung’s recommendation is the only way to see which is occurring, unless it’s both! 😎

I’m interested to see what happens!
DSD sends
 

Nor Cal AC

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I look at the pic and I see green nearest to the trunk on all 3 apical branches and the uppermost branch to be solidly green. What I see is NOT consistent with dying from the bottom up, or drying from the bottom up.

In brief, I don't see anything that is clearly related to the air layer.



That looks like bridging caused by residual cambium cells (xylem initials). You should scrape it all away and leave it open to the air for a day or two before bundling it up again.
I am new to air layering. I haven't seen this before.
 

0soyoung

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If you've got a spare branch/tree, I suggest that you girdle it and promptly wrap it up with plastic wrap (cover that with Al foil if it is otherwise difficult to shield it from solar heating). After a week, open it up and you'll see much the same bridging growth. Promptly close it back up and leave it for another week or two, then remove everything. You'll see that the bark is back!

There are a couple of morals to this story. The first, pertaining to making air layers is to just relax. Cut the gridle, scape all the green away, apply rooting hormone if you choose (it is unnecessary with air layers, but will kick start rooting them just like it does with cuttings), and walk away. After a day or two, the xylem initials will have died by desiccation (so regrowth-bridging won't happen), so you then 'bundle it up'. Getting in a rush creates so much anxiety and is actually quite counter-productive.

The second moral concerns pruning wounds and so-called 'healing'. Cambium cells produce this 'healing', so one clearly wants to promptly cover exposed cambium with some kind of moisture barrier (saran, visqueen, self-amalgamating silicone tape, damp sphagnum, glue, putty, etc., or even expensive, official bonsai cut paste) to keep it from desiccating. Hence the wound will seem to heal faster.

I am new to air layering. I haven't seen this before.
No to worry. A few years from now you'll be lending a hand to someone, based on what you're learning now and they are mystified by.

This is fun stuff. :p Forge ahead and see what sort of new surprises are ahead. ;)
 

0soyoung

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Wouldn’t damaged Xylem give the same indications… insufficient water coming up the tree being rationed to the branchlets closest to the tree?
Yes, the leaves would loose turgidity; first those closest to the obstruction of xylem water flow. This would progress rapidly up the stem toward the branch tip, with a pattern of drying/browning leaves rapidly in tow. Lop off a branch and watch.

Maybe I'm being fooled by perspective, but it looks to me like the leaves on the branchlets closest to the trunk are green on all branches above the girdle. Maybe these are all on the third branch which is going up and back (vertically in the pic). Supposing they are, it is curious that all the leaves on that branch are green and the other two (more horizontal) ones are discolored. Water is held in the xylem by capillary action. It is moved by transpiration.

I know that applying too strong a rooting hormone at the girdle can induce leaf coloring that normally occurs in fall (usually reddening with maples, stewartia, etc., and yellowing with hornbeams etc.), but if this, or something similar, were the case, why is that third branch unaffected? Further, I've noted the same effect sometimes occurs naturally because of the accumulation of auxin above the girdle. It happens because of a compound that is injected into the xylem flow near the point of excess auxin.

As I said, I just don't see a pattern consistent with damaged xylem at the girdle. I must add complications like the two discolored branches are in full sun and the green one is in shade to come up with what I see. So I'm not sure what is going on but it doesn't simply fit with xylem damage/clogging with the air layer girdle. And if it is both, which is more to blame? I go with the simplest and easiest explanation with the least complications and get complicated when the facts make it unavoidable.

The only thing that is clear to me is the bridging regrowth.
 

sorce

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Someone....ah nevermind....here...
I can't remember these Xlophone words.
Airlayer_CrossSection.jpg

I'd like to know what @Deep Sea Diver and @0soyoung are calling these 2 parts.
Capture+_2021-05-15-13-49-18.png

Seems to me that the Cambium wasn't fully removed, and the tree is just responding to "damage".

It knows, in this state, what it has the capacity to keep alive, them 2 branches ain't it! It probably wants to keep the top, but messing with it any further will probably make it give up.

Once you fully remove it properly, I mean, from start, the tree will more quickly go into "make roots" mode.

Leave that trickle, and it makes different decisions.

It doesn't give a shit about your need for material.

Sorce
 

Nor Cal AC

Mame
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Someone....ah nevermind....here...
I can't remember these Xlophone words.
View attachment 374848

I'd like to know what @Deep Sea Diver and @0soyoung are calling these 2 parts.
View attachment 374853

Seems to me that the Cambium wasn't fully removed, and the tree is just responding to "damage".

It knows, in this state, what it has the capacity to keep alive, them 2 branches ain't it! It probably wants to keep the top, but messing with it any further will probably make it give up.

Once you fully remove it properly, I mean, from start, the tree will more quickly go into "make roots" mode.

Leave that trickle, and it makes different decisions.

It doesn't give a shit about your need for material.

Sorce
So what do you suggest I do?
 

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